LEBANON — Lebanon Strawberry Festival Princess Maddy Romeo was crowned as the festival queen in a Friday night ceremony at Cheadle Lake Park.
Romeo, a senior at Lebanon High School, received the honor after going through one-on-one interviews with the three judges earlier in the week, as well as an onstage interview Friday night. She is the daughter of Robb and Lori Romeo.
She was crowned by Courtney Foster, queen of the 2018 Lebanon Strawberry Festival.
Hanna Davis received the Joyce Thoma Miss Congeniality Award.
The other members of the 2019 court are princesses Isabella Ayala, Svea Bruslind and Avery Hartl.
Several hundred people gathered for the coronation, which was held on the main stage at the Strawberry Festival grounds. In past years, the coronation was held at Lebanon High School, but organizers believe holding the event as part of the festival is an earlier tradition worth reclaiming.
"We had such a fun crowd tonight. Definitely an improvement having a real connected feeling with the rest of the festivities," said Jami Cate, chair of the Lebanon Strawberry Festival Board. "We had gorgeous weather, couldn't have asked for more."
With support from sponsors including the Jim and Heather McDaniel Strawberrian Princess Scholarship Endowment, Entek, Oregon State Credit Union, Krake Home Sales - Premiere Property Group, and the Lebanon Strawberry Festival Association, each princess will receive at least $1,850 in scholarship money for post-secondary education. In addition, Miss Congeniality receives an extra $500 and the queen an extra $1,000.
As part of the ceremony, the 2019 Strawberry Festival Junior Court was also introduced. These princesses are second-graders representing Lebanon's elementary schools. They are: Charlea Branton (Hamilton Creek), Dahilia Brennen (Sand Ridge), Leilahni Hall (East Linn Christian Academy), Izabella Jones (Pioneer), Reese King (Riverview), Madison Kirbey (Cascades), Emily Nelson (Lacomb), and Zoee Ruoavaara (Green Acres).
Following the coronation, the main stage hosted concerts by the Dusty Rhoades Band and festival headliner Steve Holy.